Protests against custodial death of youth in Vaddukoddai

Thursday, 23 November 2023 01:57 –      – 27

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Residents of Vaddukoddai in Jaffna, staged a protest against the Vaddukoddai Police demanding that action be taken against Police personnel involved in the alleged assault of a suspect in custody resulting in his death.

The protest took place before the final rites of the youth were conducted at the Ilavalai Vellawali Cemetery on Tuesday.

The Police in a statement have claimed that the deceased, identified as 26-year-old Nagarasa Alex and another were arrested in the Nagakerny area on 11 November over allegations of committing a robbery and stealing Rs. 90,000 in cash and 16 ½ pounds of gold jewellery from a house. “They were remanded until 21 November after being produced before the Mallakam Magistrate’s court,” the release said.

On the contrary, the second suspect, now released on bail, asserted that the duo were apprehended on 8 November but were only presented before the courts on 11 November. Furthermore, he has alleged that during the four-day period, they were subjected to being hung upside down and assaulted by the investigating officers.

The Police reported that the victim experienced a sudden illness while in prison and received treatment. Subsequently, he was returned to prison but fell ill again, leading to his admission to the Intensive Care Unit of Jaffna Hospital on 19 November, where he later passed away.

The post-mortem conducted by the Judicial Medical Officer at Jaffna Teaching Hospital revealed that the youth died due to kidney failure resulting from injuries sustained during an assault.

A team of senior Police officers in the Jaffna Police Division has launched an investigation into the youth’s death based on the post-mortem findings. The Sri Lanka Police have assured that appropriate action will be taken against any officers found to have committed a crime in connection to this incident, and disciplinary measures will be implemented against those deemed responsible.